The Chicago Cubs snapped their four-game skid with a big road win against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night, and now the North Siders will look to sew up a series win in game two on Saturday. Veteran righty Kyle Hendricks (0-2, 4.70 ERA) will make his fourth start of the year for Chicago, while reliever John Brebbia (2-0, 3.65) will start in what figures to be a bullpen game for the Giants.
San Francisco enters as the -145 favorite on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Cubs at +125. The run total is set at 8.5.
Cubs-Giants picks: Saturday, June 10th
Out: OF Cody Bellinger (left knee contusion), RP Brad Boxberger (right forearm strain), SP Justin Steele (left forearm strain), INF Edwin Rios (left groin strain)
Day to day: SP Alex Cobb (left hip tightness)
Out: SP Alex Wood (low back strain), C Joey Bart (left groin strain), RP Ross Stripling (low back strain)
Kyle Hendricks vs. John Brebbia
Hendricks hasn’t looked like his vintage self just yet after a shoulder injury wiped out the first two months of his season, but he is coming off his strongest outing of the year. The righty went six innings against the San Diego Padres earlier this week, giving up four runs on six hits while striking out four. His changeup, while still effective, hasn’t been the prime whiff generator we’ve seen in the past, while he’s been reluctant to dust off his curveball over his first three starts of 2023. Hendricks should get better the more reps he gets — although it’s worth noting that the 33-year-old hasn’t put up an ERA below 4.70 since 2020.
Brebbia has served as San Francisco’s opener several times already this year, most recently this past Tuesday, when he pitched a scoreless inning at Coors Field before giving way to bulk man Sean Manaea. That could be the formula again on Saturday, as Manaea has looked much better recently after a rough start to his first season with the Giants. The lefty allowed four runs over 4.2 innings last time out, but Coors Field is enough to make any pitcher tear his hair out, and Manaea had fired eight straight scoreless innings prior to that.
These teams combined for just five runs on Friday night, and I’m banking on that continuing in the rematch on Saturday. Chicago has been literally the worst offense in baseball over the last two weeks; they’ve scored more than three runs in a game just twice over their last 11, and with Manaea looking much better of late, it’s hard to see the Cubs lighting up the scoreboard today. With Hendricks improving with every outing — and pitcher-friendly Oracle Park helping to turn balls in play into outs — I expect another low-scoring affair tonight.
Pick: Under 8.5
As bad as Chicago has been at the plate of late, they’re still a top-10 offense against left-handed pitching this season, and I think Dansby Swanson, Seiya Suzuki and Co. will be able to do just enough off Manaea to back Hendricks in what will be his best start of the season so far. The soft-tossing righty thrives in pitcher’s parks like this, and I’ll take a desperate Cubs team with plus odds.